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Need restaurant recommendations for March Chicago trip!

My boyfriend is taking me to Chicago for a weekend in March to celebrate my 25th birthday. We ahve tickets to the Lyric Opera at 7:30 pm on the Friday night, and 9 pm reservations for Girl and the Goat on Saturday night. On Saturday during the day, we will potentially be visiting the Art Institute. We will be staying at the Hotel Allegro. Here's what we need:

- Dinner before the opera.....our hotel is only a few blocks away, so something close by and fairly low maintenance because of time would be best.

-Brunch on Saturday/ lunch near the Art Institute

- Since our G&G reservation is pretty late, it would be nice to have a place to go for drinks/apps beforehand maybe...

-Brunch on Sunday, preferably near our hotel or on the way out of town....we will be headed south to Bloomington, IN.

We are both very open-minded with food, so no particular quirks or preferences. Since the Saturday night dinner will be more on the expensive side, some still nice but slightly less expensive options for the other meals would probably be best. Thanks!!!

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  1. Lunch/Brunch near the A.I - I would go for deep dish pizza at Pizano's or The Gage.

    For bites close to the GATG - check out Maudes Liquor Bar or Haymarket Pub. Literally feets away and they both get great reviews.

    Beware the stupid website for Maude's has music...... biggest pet peeve.

    1. Tony Matuano of Spiaggia, has a wonderful Italian restaurant, Terzo Piano, right in the Art Institute. It features local organic and sustainable ingredients and is open for lunch. I would make reservations. You can do that at opentable.com.

      -----
      Terzo Piano
      159 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603

      1. BTW, I didn't find Girl and the Goat to be incredibly expensive when we went. To see some prices, you can try looking at recent Yelp photos of the menu. A few weeks ago, we ordered a bread ($4), vegetable dish (shishito peppers at $7), two meat dishes ($16 each), and were pretty full after four things. Desserts are $8 or so. I had expected the final bill to be much higher.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Ah, thanks for the info....I guess I just assumed since the reservations are semi-difficult to get, the price would be high!

          1. re: HConklin

            The combination of reasonable prices and the really good food (combined with Stephanie Izard's Top Chef fame) are probably why reservations are not easy to come by.

            1. re: chicgail

              I agree; the prices are extremely reasonable for the quality of the food and the overall experience.

        2. We were thinking avec for the pre-opera dinner, but I'm concerned about the wait....thoughts?

          1 Reply
          1. For your pre-opera dinner you might consider eating at the opera house. See:

            http://www.lyricopera.org/yourvisit/d...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jane Stone

              Yes, I had noticed that this was an option...but I was a little skeptical about whether or not the food would actually be good....have you done this before?

              1. re: HConklin

                I've only eaten at the Florian which i like very much, but I've heard good things about the Pederson Room.

                1. re: HConklin

                  I've eaten at the little bistro on the third floor and really like it since I want just a light nosh pre opera ...the bistro dishes are definitely light but tasty and there's always a special related in someway to the opera for $20 including a little salad and very yummy cookies.limited but nice selection of wine ... It's all very well done.

              2. Thanks for the recommendations, all! We ended up doing a light dinner at the opera on Friday night, which we were pleasantly surprised by. After the show, we headed over to The Tasting Room and had drinks and a few small plates...loved it! Saturday afternoon we grabbed deep dish pizza after the Museum of Science and Industry....then promptly returned to the hotel for a food coma. Saturday night we hit Maude's before GATG...we loved it so much that I made reservations there to have dinner instead of just apps and drinks the next time we are in Chicago. All in all a fantastic trip!